ATI promotes DirectX 10.1 among game developers, but not that successfully

From X-bit Labs: ATI, graphics product group of Advanced Micro Devices, on Monday said that there are at least three game titles in development that will take advantage of DirectX 10.1 application programming interface. Even though three video games may add some value to the latest ATI Radeon HD graphics cards, this is hardly enough to make the DX 10.1 real popular. Still, there may be bright future for DirectX 10.1 as a part of DirectX 11.

Currently only ATI Radeon HD 3000- and 4000-series graphics cards support DirectX 10.1, whereas Nvidia Corp.’s GeForce 8, 9 and GTX 200 only features DirectX 10 since the Santa Clara, California-based developer does not see any value in the version 10.1 superset. As a consequence, like any other DirectX super-set, the DirectX 10.1 is currently rarely supported by software developers.

In fact, the destiny of DirectX 10.1 seems to replicate the fates of DirectX 8.1 and 9.0c: video game developers would hardly embrace a new application programming interface that is supported by only one independent hardware vendor (IHV) unless the hardware developer provides certain incentives to them. In fact, the first title that took advantage of DirectX 10.1 – Assassin’s Creed made by Ubisoft Montreal – quickly lost it after, as it is widely believed, Nvidia pressured the developer of this title that belongs to the company’s The Way It’s Meant to Be Played initiative.

It should be noted that DirectX 10.1 feature-set is compulsory in DirectX 11 API, which is rumoured to be launched in 2009. Therefore, Nvidia will support DirectX 10.1 automatically once it launches DirectX 11-compatible graphics chip. Game developers realize that with the launch of the next-gen API they will have much broader park of DirectX 10.1 hardware compared to the installed base of DX11 graphics cards, hence, they may actually start development of games that take advantage of the 10.1 version of DirectX right now.

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